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Catch-all Discussions » MooseWhizzer - as promised, the retelling » 6/28/2019 10:03 pm

OK, Moosewhizzer it is.  (Or maybe Moosewhizzer Dave).  Here is the re-telling.

My first Algonquin trip was with my Boy Scout Troop, in August 1979 or 1980.  I was fourteen or fifteen.  First canoe trip, first time this far north.  Summer camp always bored me, and this sounded like 7-days of additional boredom to me, under more primitive conditions.  Thankfully I was talked into going by one of the guys in the troop, who had visited every summer since infancy.  (His dad, Mr. K., delivered mail to Algonquin park rangers in his youth.)  So, off we went, a bunch of eager boys with adult leaders.

The geology, trees, habitats, were all very different from my prior experience.  Back then the surrounding area near Huntsville was not so built up, so to me the park felt like a vastness within a vastness.  I had a life-changing moment that day.  Our access point was Magnetawan.   My first portage ever was Magnetawan to Hambone.  I put down my pack, looked at Hambone, and that view is what got me.  It was a beautiful day, cliff on the right, inviting lake before us….I immediately wanted to be IN that place.  Part of it.  Enveloped by it.  Even today those are the sensations I get.  My love of canoeing and canoe camping was born right then, and I knew it when it happened.  Forty years later, the fire still burns bright.  I can’t measure my debt to Robert for talking me into going.

Now.  I told you all that to tell you this.  We spent our last night of that trip camping at that very same spot; illegally on that portage.  We arrived very late in the day, there had been some debate between adults about continuing to the cars, but settled on awakening very early the next morning, crossing the portage, and heading toward some unsuspecting restaurant.

I slept in Mr. K’s tent.  From left to right were Mr. K., Robert, myself, and…..I can never remember the other boy.  Overnight I woke up with a need to pee that could not be ignored.  Uh-oh…my f

Catch-all Discussions » I need a name change. And you're the focus group. » 6/28/2019 10:15 am

Shawn - BullTinkle made me laugh out loud.  A lot.  That as very, very clever. 
Peek - I'm pretty sure it was a female....I'll save that for the re-telling.
Paddlerunner - I also thought about "Finding My Way".  Seems like a canoey kind of a theme. 

I'm pretty sure I'm going to become MooseWhizzer.  That seems to be testing through the roof.

Catch-all Discussions » I need a name change. And you're the focus group. » 6/26/2019 3:41 pm

No problem, Barry.  If I get settled on a new handle, I don't mind starting over.   ".....the artist formerly known as Dontgroandaddy....."

Trip Planning » Taking 4 month old baby on first trip » 6/26/2019 1:13 pm

A very good friend of mine was on his first Algonquin canoe trips as an infant, held in his mothers' arms in the bow while his dad paddled them around. 

So, a couple of things, obviously you've got a lot of safety concerns to address, not the least of which is bugs if you are trying this time of year - and if you are I'd really think about pushing to later in the summer. 

Having said that, Magnetawan to Hambone might be nice.   There are a handful of campsites on that lake.  The portage is very short, and the two lakes are small.  If you needed to bug out quickly, you could, and if you had to make seventeen trips on the portage as the Sherpa-dad, you can....and will....and it won't take very long.  You could day trip from Hambone easily enough to Ralph Bice or Acme or Magnetawan for that matter, just to paddle around, although Hambone is certainly a pretty enough lake to explore.  While it is a bit of a highway lake, nearly all of those traveler are heading to Bice, so the southern part of Hambone should be pretty quiet. 

That's what I'd think about anyway.  I'm sure you know you won't get anywhere remote in this instance, but that's probably not the goal here anyway.

I'm sure you are all over this already, but safety first for the little one! 


Catch-all Discussions » I need a name change. And you're the focus group. » 6/26/2019 10:48 am

solos - I agree with you completely, but it bugs my daughter so I feel like I should make a change.  Part of me wants to make it "I Huffed and I Puffed and got out of my Chair" but that's too long.

RCSPartan - OK, at the end of this I promise a re-telling.  When my kids were little they used to beg me tell it to their friends. My poor wife has heard it at social functions many times but still doesn't roll her eyes at me.

Catch-all Discussions » I need a name change. And you're the focus group. » 6/26/2019 8:31 am

My daughter has long felt that my username, dontgroandaddy, is somewhat suggestive.  I disagree with her entirely, to me it is an obvious reference to a dad who groans every time he stands up, sits down, picks something up, etc., however, to a cheering crowd of one I announced I would change my name.  The kids are 14 and 16 now, they seldom call me daddy at this point anyway

(I'm not sure if Barry can just switch a username for me or if I would have to start a brand new account, but one thing at a time - new name first.)  Names are below, with explanations.  My son came up with the last one, and within our little family focus group that name tests the best, but I thought I'd expand the focus group.

Half the Paddler – a little self-deprecating humor, based on the rivalry between kayaks and canoes, “half the paddle, twice the paddler”.  I figure I’m simply half the paddler. 

Into the Wind – If there is another direction in which to paddle a canoe I've never found it.

Ceiling Unlimited – A Rush song title that conveys the idea of adventure.  Maybe a little over the top though.

Muttering Under My Breth – not a misspelling, this is both a nod to my last name and the vocal interactions I have with all of my equipment (from brave canoes bucking a hard wind to sleeping bag zippers that get caught up in pitch dark), the natural world (animals, trees, rocks, sky….) and sometimes my canoeing partners (truly muttering).

Here's the one from my son:
MooseWhizzer or MooseWhizzer Dave.   This goes to the story of me unknowingly peeing on a moose (in total darkness) on the last night of my first trip to Algonquin.  I am leaning toward this one, it just makes me laugh.  Sounds like something Bob and Doug McKenzie would say.


Photos and Videos To Share » Nadine L. Cow moose and calf » 6/01/2019 11:00 am

Thanks so much for sharing those videos.  I showed them to my kids, and I'm pretty sure the "cute" meter broke watching the little one stumble-bumble around while getting out of the water.  That was a pretty special opportunity for you, congrats!

Trip Reports » Kayak Camper: Ice-out 2019 (Days 1 & 2 : video) » 6/01/2019 10:58 am

I think a lot of folks can relate to the rushed feeling of a travel day.  You carve out time for a trip, then hustle through it.  In my youth, tripping was about motion and progess, with long travel days.  Then I had a 16-year window without a trip, and somehow got older. Go figure.  On a travel day now, it is still all about motion and progress. I can't stand eating lunch at portages, and won't do it unless it is absolutely necessary, I just want to keep moving.  I can still do a long day, and sometimes plan one if it makes sense, but prefer not to.  Long days leave little space for relaxation, are tiring, put you are risk for a campsite, etc.   These days I like enough travel to put me into a site in time for a late lunch.  To me, washing up on the shores of a campsite at 1:30 or 2:00pm is ideal.   After a little I'll explore on foot or by boat, and yes, I end up pacing around a campsite attending to little unnecessary chores, but I really enjoy watching a day unfold, and to me that's the battery recharger.  I'll go stand and watch the view from a place for a few minutes, and revisit that place a dozen or more times during the day.  Different critters are active at different times of the day, the wind changes, the temperatures change, the sounds change.  Such a big difference between 25-30-year old me and 50+ year old me.  If I was any older, well I'd be 54.

Trip Reports » Finding a little solitude in the Canoe Lake corridor (Littledoe) » 5/29/2019 10:27 am

crewser - it was site number 3.  There is already a PCI report on it I just noticed. 

moresmores - I think you posted about your plans to try for Baden Powell the day after I did, and I had you very much in mind as I failed in my attempt to get there.  I was wishing I could use all my psychokinetic powers to let you know my experience.  Still, it was a nice paddle over there, and a really nice sidetrip overall.  Even though it was like trying to paddle through a phone booth at times.

Thanks to all for the comments - I appreciate it!

Trip Planning » Islet Lake » 5/27/2019 10:28 pm

I would agree with Ian.  I've read horror stories about the route you're talking about, the Hot route is not bad.  That bass fishing is nice on Islet, it is a pretty one, and there are some nice sites as well, but I think you'd want to be a little picky about which site you select.

Trip Reports » Defeated by an unmaintained area » 5/27/2019 10:25 pm

September 2017 I tried going Booth, McCarthy, Mole, and to the area you are discussing to Boot.  My defeat occurred on the Mole to whatever the next lake south was....Raja?  At some point, the trail just disappeared.  I had already fallen once or twice with the pack, there were blowdowns absolutely everywhere, came to the rise of a hill and that was the end of that.  I kept wondering if I was just supposed to cross the blasted creek/river instead of going up that rise, but I couldn't imagine getting the canoe as far as I had gotten the pack without killing myself anyway.  Had I made it through, I knew there was another portage just like it waiting for me, and success was going to mean brutality all day long, then turning around and doing again the next day.  So, I returned to the canoe, tail between my legs, and apologized to the boat.  There's a trip report that documents the moment of my failure nicely I think.

Trip Reports » Finding a little solitude in the Canoe Lake corridor (Littledoe) » 5/24/2019 12:20 pm

The forecast leading up to my little 3-day trip was all over, so I took clothing loose in the car, and made decisions upon arrival.  I wore my winter coat – waterproof outer layer with removable fleece.  Overpacked a little, using one large and mid-size small pack, so I had to triple carry, but only had one 250-meter portage, and the smaller pack was needed anyway as a daypack for a day 2 side trip. 

At Canoe Lake, it was around 7-8 Celsius, with a very stiff wind blowing straight down the gut of the lake from the north.  Hooray.  Cars were everywhere.  The combined impact of a late opening day with Victoria Day weekend.  The lineup was several parties deep at the Permit Office.  I couldn't help but notice the one guy preparing to push off with his group who was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.  The problem with playing Johnny Toughguy is that when you are freezing a half hour after push off, it is kind of hard to retreat from Johnny Toughguy and say "you know, I think I'll put on my..ummm....windbreaker", and save face.  Just sayin'.  Of course I looked like Johnny Freezalot out there, so that wasn't much of a look either, especially when the balaclava went on.  Look out, ladies!  

Pushed off at 10:30 into a nasty, chilling wind, and wore neoprene gloves (sorry ladies, I'm married).  I headed for the islands to catch a wind break.  The wind was a little easier to deal with on Joe and the rest of the way to Littledoe, but still a tiring nuisance all the way.  It took four hours to reach my campsite.  My forearms and elbows were smoked.  The following day I realized that the neoprene gloves greatly reduced my wrist and hand flexibility paddling.  Without them, I was fine, with them, I was putting strain on tendons.

The Canoe Lake area is not what you’d call “remote”.  I expected that, but still.  It was my first ice-out trip, so it was nice to know people were around, on the other, when a kid is on a paddleboard parallel to you

Fishing » Small or Telescopic Rod » 5/23/2019 12:24 pm

Swede - I had one of those when I was a kid.  Visiting my grandparents in the southern Virginia, the New River flows close to where their house was, with just a tall field between the house and waters' edge.  I lobbied my folks hard for that rod so I could fish that river while we were.  They bought it, we get back to Grampa's, and I think it was my uncle who said (about the pasture) "Looks pretty snakey down there", meaning copperheads.  There were plenty in the region.  Thus endeth my desire to fish.  Had that pole for a long time though.

Catch-all Discussions » Bug Reports » 5/20/2019 3:12 pm

17th Canoe to Littledoe.
18th, side trip to Vanishing Pond area.
19th, Littledoe to Canoe. 

On the evening of the 18th a couple of mosquitoes buzzed my ears while I sat at water's edge, as in three.  Saw one black fly on the morning of the 18th.  I walked all over the area of the campsite on Littledoe as well.  Nothing.    Yet......... 

Trip Planning » It is almost upon us » 5/14/2019 1:11 pm

For me, the season opener will be a brief trip from the 17th-19th.  Fishing pole is staying at home, this is purely to get out there and enjoy being out there.  Day 1 - Canoe to Little Doe, Day 2 - side trip to Baden Powell (I will bring a pen to sign the register), Day 3 - Little Doe to Canoe.   Fewest portages ever: 1 on the route, 1 on the side trip (plus a beaver dam).  That is just the way it worked out, but at this point in the season I'm probably better off with more paddling and less portaging.

While it is heavily traveled, I've never been to this area.  I'm sure there will be people there, but I'm also pretty sure I'll still be able to find a place to park.  And the weather....shhhh....looks pretty good.  The wind may get unpleasant, but one hurdle at a time.  I've not gone this time of year, so I'm prepared to hug the shore, wear neoprene boots, bring more clothing layers than usual, and will use a compressed foam pad rather than a klymit air mattress.

Anybody else visiting an area that is "new to you" for the weekend?   

Trip Planning » Leaving a food stash behind - good idea, bad idea? » 5/08/2019 9:27 am

Maybe just me, but that food would be on my mind the whole time I was away from it.  Sitting here in front of a keyboard, there's a 100% chance it will be there when you return.  Laying in a tent two days away from the food stash, that percentage will degrade while I'm trying to sleep wondering how the chipmunks are doing dividing up my food. 

The other thing that occurs to me is if your plans change due to weather or whatever.  The stash either forces your hand to return to that area no matter what, unless you selected a spot that you had to go past on the return swing anyway.

Equipment » Family canoe advice recommendations- what can I get away with? » 5/02/2019 1:59 pm

I have a couple of thoughts for you.  I keep an active "Craigslist" search going all the time, just to see what shows up in my area.  (Scares my wife to death - "we don't need another canoe!" - but of course she's wrong.  We always need another canoe, we just need to find one that turns us on!).  Anyway, I see aluminum battleships all the time for not much money.  If you found a Grumman in the 17 foot range, or I've even seen some in the 18 foot range, those have the physical capacity you are after.  Yeah, aluminum is bwangy, and they dent, and whatever, but those things last.  They weigh in their weight is typically in the area you are talking about as well.  So that's one thought.

Another thought is that I saw a family with mom, dad, and three....might have been four kids a couple of years ago.  They jammed everyone into one boat, it made me nervous as heck just watching them because they were using every bit of the weight capacity of that boat and you could see there wasn't a lot of room for error. But what they did was tow a packboat behind them.  They didn't actually use a packboat for that, it was like a pack-flat-thing that looked like any wave would remove anything on the deck, but the concept is sound.  Maybe you can find a boat sufficient to hold the people, and a pack boat for the junk to tow behind.

So that's two boats, right?  Well, that might allow you to go with a 16 footer for people and dog, maybe 17.  Doesn't have to be aluminum, those are just fairly inexpensive and broadly available in decent shape.  Super-long canoes like 18-footers and aluminum canoes are not the easiest to resell later on - just saying.  With aluminum, you probably end up donating that to a kids camp, because nobody - NOBODY is buying aluminum boats.  So if you see one for sale, you should be able to make a good deal, chances are the owner has been trying and won't believe his luck that somebody actually came by to make an offer.  For a pack boat - your opti

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